Invests State Tobacco Money In Innovative Learning Spaces.
On December 19, the Mason City School Board approved a resolution to begin using funds from the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission’s Expedited Local Partnership program. The OSFC was created from state tobacco funds.
“While we have always known our ‘number’ would come up, we were surprised when OSFC told us we needed to move forward with our plan this spring, or risk losing the state funding. Thankfully, our plan has not materially changed since we developed it in 2014, and we are on track to begin construction this summer - with the hopes of having all of the district’s preschool through second graders attending MECC in fall of 2018,” said Dr. Gail Kist-Kline, Superintendent.
Mason’s Facilities Plan
In March 2014, the Mason City School District released its Facility Master Plan proposal.
The Mason Early Childhood Center would serve students in grades PK-2.
The Mason Intermediate School would serve students in grades 3-6.
Mason Middle School would continue to serve students in grades 7-8.
Mason High School would continue to serve students in grades 9-12.
The plan ensures that all Mason City Schools are safe, technology-ready and high quality learning environments. The plan eliminates splitting grades and lessens the number of transitions students make, while providing flexibility so that the district’s facilities address the needs of Mason's learners today and 50 years from now.
“We aren’t building new schools and won’t ask voters to approve a bond-levy. Instead, we’re now ready to “cash in our coupon” so that we can renovate aging schools like Mason Middle School, and capture operational savings by closing Western Row Elementary. This plan will ensure that all of our children benefit from safe, technology-ready, high-quality learning environments for many years to come,” said Kist-Kline.
Learn More About Timeline & Transition Plans at Upcoming Town Hall Meetings
WHEN/WHERE: Wednesday, March 15, 2017
10:00am - Mason Intermediate School KIVA, 6307 Mason-Montgomery Road
12:30pm - Twitter Town Hall; Tweet @masonschools & use the hashtag #MCSFP
6:30pm - Mason High School Large Commons, 6100 Mason-Montgomery Road
Redeeming Our Coupon
Mason City School District voters have made significant investments in the schools where our community’s children learn. In 2001, the Board of Education joined the Ohio School Facilities Commission’s (OSFC) Expedited Local Partnership Program. Learn more about the history of the OSFC, and how it was funded from Ohio’s state tobacco settlement funds.
In December 2013, the district learned that Mason might now be eligible to receive funding from the OSFC for future facility projects because of the construction and renovation projects the district undertook over the last decade to build and renovate Mason High School, the Mason Early Childhood Center and Mason Intermediate. In addition, the district will continue to receive a 25% match from the state for the investments the district will make to renovate Mason Middle School and the Mason Early Childhood Center.
No Bond-Levy Required, Plan Reduces Costs
The district currently has about $21 million in its capital improvement fund. Monies in the district’s capital fund cannot be used for salaries, benefits or other general fund operating expenditures.
Under the proposed plan, the district would offline Western Row Elementary by 2020. Western Row currently serves a third of the district’s second graders and all of the district’s third graders. The district’s enrollment has stabilized. New, residential housing developments in the City of Mason and Deerfield Township have been considered as part of the plan, but there remains a general decline in enrollment when considering that the Class of 2018 (current juniors) has 920 students while there are 690 first graders.
In 2012, the district closed one of its elementary schools, Mason Heights, based on enrollment. That saved $700,000 in operating costs and eliminated additional costs that would be needed to maintain an aging building. Closing Western Row will save approximately $550,000 a year in operating costs, and $14 million in capital investments that would be needed to bring Western Row up to OSFC standards.